Some of the best Reykjavik restaurants
A visit to Reykjavik, Iceland, is never complete without indulging in the culinary feasts of this bustling metropolitan capital. Being the largest city in Iceland, it boasts of hundreds of fine restaurants, cafes, bars, bistros, soup bars, sandwich shops, bakeries, and coffee houses that cater to every person’s palette and cravings. From traditional and modern fusion of Icelandic dishes, to Italian, Indian, Danish, and English cuisine, this city has it all for you and then some. Home to some of the freshest and most succulent seafood that you can find in the entire world, Reykjavik’s various restaurants are a must in every tourist or visitor’s itinerary.
Top Reykjavik Restaurants
Grillmarkadurinn is one of the city’s most prestigious Reykjavik restaurants. Located in central Reykjavik, this top quality grill restaurant focuses on haute cuisine and creative culinary offerings. The menu include seafood, steak, Scandinavian, and grill dishes in an extravagant and fancy setting. Ingredients are mostly made with Icelandic ingredients that are freshly sourced from local farmers. The building where the restaurant is located at used to be a movie theater that was built in the 1920, giving the restaurant that ultimate Icelandic experience. A bar is also located on the lower floor, for before and/or after dinner drinks and cocktails.
Glo Restaurant – By far the most popular healthy food restaurant in Iceland, Glo Restaurant is a unique culinary experience that focuses on healthy food eating. Using the finest ingredients that are sourced from local farmers in Reykjavik, the restaurant offers the freshest and the most raw food offerings that you can’t find anywhere else in this capital.
Award-winning chef and author Solla Eiriks has been in the healthy food business for over 30 years, with a lifetime passion for healthy eating and raw food. She’s also led lectures in Iceland and even in LA regarding raw food. This master and expert has been changing how Icelanders eat, adding organic and raw ingredients to their diet.
With a daily menu of raw food, chicken, soup, vegetarian, desserts, coffee and tea, there’s something nutritious, delicious, and filling for every palette. There are three Glo Restaurants in the city, one in Hilton Nordica, another in Hafnarfiroi, and a soon to open branch in the city center.
Dill Restaurant – Visiting Reykjavik is not complete without indulging in Nordic cuisine. Owned and operated by the pioneers of New Nordic Kitchen, Dill Restaurant is an upscale and high end restaurant that offers traditional Nordic food offerings using new technology in food preparation with innovative and creative presentations.
Located in the Nordic House, which is nestled in the middle of a bird reserve outside the downtown area of Reykjavik, the restaurant has a minimal and zen like atmosphere, making you focus on the food itself. Serene and peaceful, indulge yourself in their lunch or dinner offerings plus a complete wine list to feed your palette.
Lunch is casual and informal at Dill, with a simple menu that changes everyday. For dinner, expect a high end dinner experience with 3, 5, or 7 course meals with a menu that changes every week. They also make special and personalized meals for those who have special dietary needs such as vegetarians and vegans.
Experience the ultimate in fine dining and exotic Nordic cuisine with a modern twist at Dill Restaurant.
Tveir Fiskar – Fancy some exquisite sushi and a fantastic view of the harbor? Then Tveir Fiskar, or Two Fishes, in English, offers top of the line seafood right in downtown Reykjavik with large windows that give you the best views of the sea. This seafood restaurant also offers other culinary treats in its menu, including lamb, beef, and chicken dishes. Located in a renewed building just next to the old harbor, Tvier Fiskar offers one of the best sushi in town.
Einar Ben – Named after Iceland’s finest poet, Einar Benediktsson, the restaurant Einar Ben is located on the top of an old timber house with a 19th century charm. Its velvet curtains and brass chandeliers is definitely a different vibe from most of the city’s minimalist designed fine restaurants, perfect for old souls who want a taste of what Reykjavik’s houses looked like decades ago. Offering the best in British and French cuisine with a modern Icelandic twist, this restaurant also has a bar on the third floor for a drink of cognac or cocktails after dinner.
Indian Mango – If you want a taste of Asia right in the heart of Reykjavik, then Indian Mango is the place to be. Located in a historic 20th century building, this charming restaurant offers the best Indian cuisine in the city. Frequented and loved by locals, this restaurant is also a great place to dine with the entire family. Dress code is smart casual.
Icelandic Fish and Chips – For a hearty lunch, head to Icelandic Fish and Chips for great value and an endless combinations of fish, chips, sauces, and side dishes. Opened in 2006, the restaurant has been providing locals and tourists with the freshest and healthiest food made with the best Icelandic ingredients available. Staying true to their goal of giving the freshest fish available, their menu and fish offerings change every day. Wedges are also oven-baked rather than fried to give you meals that are consistently healthy. With exceptional quality food and great value for your money.
Jómfrúin – If you fancy an open sandwich for lunch, then head to the popular Jomfruin, which is a favorite among tourists and those from the business sector. This friendly restaurant has an open air patio where locals and tourists enjoy their Danish sandwiches and home-cooked dishes. This is also the perfect spot to do people watching in the heart of the city center. On Saturdays in the summer, Jomfruin also stages free jazz concerts in its outdoor space, so people can enjoy great music, a friendly and hospitable crowd, and of course, great food.
Caruso Restaurant – Set in an old-fashioned and vintage building in Reykjavik, explore the culinary treats of Caruso Restaurant with its romantic, intimate, and tropical atmosphere. Focused on giving you a southern and homely setting, their menu is reasonably priced with offerings such as pizza, pasta, steak, appetizers, and of course, a staple of Icelandic cuisine, fresh fish dishes.
The first floor of Caruso caters to couples and groups of four in its beautifully decorated interiors. Have a romantic dinner for two under its dim lighting and intimate atmosphere. Head up to the second floor if you’re out with a group of friends and revel in the old-fashioned lounge. For a party of 60 or more, the 3rd floor boasts of a large space that can exclusively be used for a private party.
The perfect place for couples and locals to unwind and celebrate, Caruso Restaurant offers the perfect blend of great food and great ambiance.
Harry’s Restaurant – One of the top rated restaurants in Reykjavik, this Asian fusion restaurant right beside Hotel Reykjavik, fuses traditional Filipino food with an Icelandic twist, making use of Icelandic ingredients with Filipino recipes.
Owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Kristjan Kristjansson serves as manager and waiter and his wife Lolong serves as the cook, giving you a full-on home-cooked restaurant experience. Perfect for families and tourists, this cozy little restaurant that consists of only 7-8 tables makes you feel like you’re having an intimate house dinner at a friend’s house. Friendly and accommodating, the couple gives a comfortable and inviting atmosphere coupled with an uncomplicated menu. Highly recommended by the hotel right next to it and from many locals and tourists, Harry’s Restaurant is slowly becoming one of Reykjavik’s must-try restaurant.
Fresh and full flavored food, value for your money, and a cozy and intimate atmosphere, Harry’s Restaurant is definitely one of Reykjavik’s simple hidden gems.
B5 – For the young and hip, B5 is the best place for seeing and be seen. This chic and trendy lounge style bistro has a casual atmosphere and is a culinary hotspot for young people. Its no nonsense and uncomplicated take on Scandinavian dishes add to its heavily casual and relaxed atmosphere. Housed in a former bank, this trendy bistro-bar also offer vegetarian dishes, light meals, and an extensive drinks list. B5 is the perfect place to dine and unwind after a long day’s work.
Cafe Solon – Cafe and restaurant turns into a hip nightclub at night on the weekends. If you want a taste of the nightlife at Reykjavik, then going to Cafe Solon is a definite must. Have your dinner, drink some cocktails, then dance the night away with music from its live DJs. During weekdays and at daytime, Cafe Solon is a popular cafe with a great menu that offers top quality Irish coffee and cakes. Prices are moderately priced, not too expensive, and a great place for brunch or lunch.
Volcano House Cafe – For a truly unique culinary experience, the Volcano House Cafe offers a simple menu that focuses on Icelandic influences that give you healthy and affordable volcanic food. The cafe also offers film showings, and an educational tour of the reality of living in Iceland, where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are common occurrences. Volcanic food involves cooking bread in geothermal ground, vegetables that are grown on geothermally heated greenhouses, and the coffee is grown in volcanic soil.
Eldur and Is – A culinary feast is never complete without dessert. For great ice cream, gelato, crepes, and pancakes, there is only one place to go in Reykjavik — Eldur and Is. It is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for their scrumptious organic pancakes, coffee, and their wide variety of ice cream and gelato flavors.
Reykjavik is not only the economic hub of Iceland, it’s also the culinary center of the country. Boasting of international and Icelandic flavors, knowing where to go for dinner, lunch, or a snack is one of the most difficult choices you’d have to make when you visit this metropolitan. Indulge, enjoy, and satisfy your cravings with the wide variety of Reykjavik restaurants.